How Small Companies Can Benefit from Robotic Process Automation
Let’s face it – in a highly competitive market, small businesses have it hard. With ever-evolving technologies and customer demands, businesses that fail to keep up with changing times are lost in the crowd.
According to a study, 90% of startups fail. Although the reason for a small business not making it can be several, some of the most common reasons why small businesses fail or do not make it large are poor processes and unoptimized resource utilization.
And this is where RPA or Robotic process automation helps. RPA essentially helps in freeing up human time that can be put to optimum use for more creative, value-adding tasks – an attribute critical to small businesses.
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
Robotic Process Automation, also known as RPA, is a type of automation technology that makes use of software robots or AI-driven bots for automating business processes. RPA mimics the user tasks by observing the patterns of human interaction with digital systems and performs them repeatedly in the graphical user interface by interpreting the communications with other systems.
For example, in a conventional development environment, a software developer has to create a list of action items to automate any task. RPA takes over this process, automates it, carries out multiple simulations, and helps in carrying out tedious, repetitive tasks.
RPA has been incremental in transforming operations of businesses across diverse industries – from manufacturing to healthcare, banking to telecommunications. According to a Forrester, the RPA industry is estimated to be worth $2.9 billion in 2021.
Also read: RPA Application in Manufacturing Industries
Small businesses require employees to multi-task, need quick turn-around times, and have limited resources. Robotic Process Automation helps in mitigating several of the challenges that small businesses face, here’s how.
Keeping up with the growing demands for scalability
The technology market is evolving exponentially. Every single day, some advances require to be integrated into the product life cycle or processes to be on par with the competition. Several methodologies such as Agile and DevOps are integrated into the business process to address this very need for scalability. Small businesses have limited human resources, which means that they cannot invest a precious resource in carrying out repetitive tasks but also have to ship a well-made, well-tested product/service.
Small businesses can be scale-proof and redirect the human efforts for creative processes whereas, the time-sensitive, bulk, and repetitive tasks can be carried out by the RPA. Since the RPA mimics humans but does not drive in the emotional reluctance and inertia, adopting new processes is also easier and faster than in humans.
Managing data which is currently handled manually
In modern businesses that make use of technology, data is gold. But data is a double-edged sword. Poorly managed data can create more chaos than calm, and manually managing data is bound to have errors.
For small businesses that cannot invest heavily in data management and automated data processing, RPA steps in to manage and process the business data, ensuring that it is free of possible human errors. Also, since RPA can record and store data at several stages of the process, businesses can have an insightful analysis of product behavior to further drive the business decisions.
Small businesses mostly operate in ‘organized chaos’, and it is often what helps in the creation of smart, out of the box products. Most processes in small organizations are heavily scattered across several teams, and only the employees know who’s responsible for what. But as the businesses try to normalize the process and bring a structure to it, the journey is difficult. This can also cause several costly mistakes, waste of resources, and loss of a potential customer.
RPA can come to the rescue by integrating several manually operating processes and centralizing them. This can help the small businesses in bringing the much-needed uniformity while also saving several manual hours spent in accomplishing overlapping tasks.
Providing consistent customer service
Small businesses have only a few chances to make a striking impression on their customers before they are swayed away by big businesses that can spend on hardcore branding and marketing. Streamlining customer support and service is hence a top priority for small businesses. Without automation, these processes are prone to inconsistency since the human factor determines and defines the overall customer experience, which is subject to change.
Robotic Process Automation can help in standardizing the customer experience and service process by automating the most common tasks involved- from customer query resolution, and data management to billing processes. This can help the small businesses operate with a small customer service team that only steps in if the automation is not able to solve the query and needs more personalized attention.
Sticking to a (low) budget
Small businesses have an immense responsibility to achieve success and make money in a restricted budget. They simply cannot afford to lose costly manual hours in mundane tasks or holes in the budget due to manual errors. With RPA, the data management and customer service can be made error-free with minimum to no human intervention. Further, when the employees are freed up from repetitive tasks, their skills and creativity can be put to better use to help grow the business.
Read more: Save cost with RPA Automation
Robotic Process Automation helps small businesses in achieving a considerably high level of sophistication in processes. While the businesses are not fully automated yet, we can already see the heavy influence of AI-driven systems penetrating small businesses (think – automated chatbots). RPA can prep small businesses for the era of automation while driving revenue growth in the process.
Are you ready for the transformation?